Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls

Latest work by frequent collaborators, performance
artist Enam Gbewonyo and film director Freddie Leyden.
With their most ambitious project yet, they have joined forces with composer
Liz Gre to create Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls.

Adapted from a live performance commissioned by Arts&Heritage in April
2020, the film reanimates the past lives of London Guildhall. It unearths
many of the horrific roles it played in the legacies of slavery and colonisation.
In particular, the Zong case which was tried at the Guildhall in March 1783.
Where ship owners attempted to claim insurance for their loss of cargo having
thrown more than 130 slaves overboard during the Middle Passage.
Under the Skin of a Guild: wake of Lost souls invokes the ancestral spirits
channeling the harrowing emotions tied to the histories embedded within the
fabric of Guildhall. The physicality of two black female descendants of these
victims claiming space within the very foundations of Empire and patriarchy
creates a spellbinding and challenging dialogue. One that denotes the
violence endured by their ancestral mothers and the children they birthed. It
makes very real the depth of atrocity Great Britain inflicted on black bodies all
while gaining wealth and global power off them. Power and wealth displayed
in the very architecture of the Guildhall and which Britain still benefits from
With an original musical score composed by Liz Gre and further sound design
provided by MRWIZE. The film makes its timely debut with conversations
around monarchy, Empire and its legacies at an all-time high. This
interpretation posits the tough questions with subtle plays on colour, gesture
and movement set against the rallying cry of an African American spiritual
whose roots lie in authorship with a slave trading past.

Directed & Edited by Freddie Leyden

Written by Enam Gbewonyo

Music by Liz Gre

Colourist Marty McMullen

Colour Producer Laura Ricketts

Sound Design MRWIZE

Cinematography Thomas Terminet

Steadicam Operator James Davis

Gaffer Alex Rice

Focus Puller Nacho Muñoz de Leon

Title Design: George Boyce